Taj Griffin, future Oregon Duck and one of the best high school running backs in the nation, will miss his senior season after tearing his ACL.
His father, Herb Griffin, confirmed the news to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Michael Carvell:
Yes, he’s going to be out for the year. The MRI came back and showed that he tore his ACL. But you know, he’s in positive spirits. He’s getting his mind right to go through rehab and to get his mind right for next level. That’s where we are right now.
You never want to see any player suffer such a serious injury, let alone one as talented and as young as the McEachern High School (Powder Springs, Georgia) star.
247Sports' Justin Hopkins provided his thoughts:
Absolute tough break for Taj Griffin who is a well-liked and well-respected football star among his peers http://t.co/9BUuKq2nzO— Justin Hopkins (@JHopkins247) August 25, 2014
According to 247Sports' composite rankings, the 4-star Griffin is the 39th-best recruit in the nation, the No. 1 overall all-purpose back and sixth-best player from Georgia. It's clearly a blow for his current team, which entered the year ranked No. 1 in the state, but it's also worth looking ahead to his collegiate career.
Built perfectly for the fast-paced Oregon offense, the 5'10", 175-pound Griffin has blazing 4.35 wheels and knee-buckling elusiveness. ACL surgery is especially concerning for a player with this kind of speed and agility.
Fortunately for the Ducks, Byron Marshall, Thomas Tyner and Royce Freeman should all still be in Eugene for the 2015 season, limiting the need to rush Griffin or even play him next season.
While this is a really unfortunate blow for Griffin during his senior year, it shouldn't affect his future at Oregon.